Porsche Manufacturer Profile & Rally History

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Porsche Home Country: Germany Germany

Porsche, founded by Ferdinand Porsche, was like most other makes of their marketing bracket never really interested in rallying, but at least they tried it even with a works team. The 911 (that ironically should have been the 901, but that was denied to them because that is a Peugeot number! 911 just seems a marketing code rather then project numbers as originally intended, i.e. the latest generations are actually in that order 996, 997, 991) seemed like a car that had to be tried in rallying, although first private efforts stayed with little success. It was a good car in classes similar to group N nowadays, though. But Porsche’s first works involvement came in 1968 with a famous driver pairing of Vic Elford and Pauli Toivonen. 2 aspects seemed to feature high from there: 1, the 911 was the only Porsche that was ever any use in rallying and 2, they were only really interested in the Monte Carlo and Safari, of which only at Monte Carlo they could score victories.

About the models it seems strange that two more models were tried: the 912, which is a 4-cylinder version of the 911, and the 914, as well known as the VW-Porsche. Björn Waldegaard could have scored a hat-trick of Monte Carlo victories with Porsche, had his 3rd attempt in 1971 not been in the awkward handling, mid-engined 914 rather than the 911. Porsche’s works involvement only lasted until the early 1970s. They had some kind of a comeback for the Safari 1978, where they finished a respectable 2nd, but they were beaten by a Peugeot 504 that was covered in mud and dents, by over half an hour, which seemed to dent Porsche’s pride severely and that was the last works entry ever.

We however saw far more entries of the Porsche 911 than this. The most famous team was probably the French Almeras team, that kept entering cars in the Monte Carlo and i.e. won the Tour de Corse in 1980 with Jean-Luc Thérier. That was the last victory of a Porsche at WRC level, but the Almeras team did a lot in those days, they retired from 2nd place with Walter Röhrl in San Remo 1981 (with a works registered car!) and managed podiums still in 1982. By 1985 Prodrive was involved with Porsche, a new evolution version called 911 SC RS and Rothmans money. They managed a podium in Corsica 1985, although an ERC program with Henri Toivonen is more remembered for nasty court cases rather than results. Eventually Prodrive fell out with Porsche when Porsche wanted to use their new 4x4 959 model for raid events as Paris-Dakar only. In more modern days don’t expect Porsche back as their car simply is too remote from modern group A and WRCar regulations. Actually, maybe all we need is a shake up in the technical regulations. Since 2004 several semi-works(!) 911 GT3 entries are very much impressive with the car entered in a group N based category called "N-GT" in Belgium and France and meanwhile also in Spain and Germany. Then of course the FIA needed their own ways, so for international ERC or WRC starts Porsche would need an expensive re-homologation of the existing N-GT car into R-GT, even though both is the same thing. To which Porsche understandably said they are not interested in such politics. So sadly it seems the characterful, loud modern day 911 will remain in national championships only – which, to be honest, is the FIA’s loss, not Porsche’s! Let’s face it, modern WRCars are quite boring, the RWD action and especially the sound sensation of a car like the 6-cylinder Boxer Porsche is what the fans want!

COLOURS & TYRES:

The first works cars were all orange, a colour maybe more synonymous with the 914 on the road. The works cars for the 1978 Safari featured a Martini colour scheme that became quite famous for the car. The Almeras team had varying sponsorship, but the three outstanding ones are at first Gitanes (cigarettes) – little white on light blue cars, from 1979 Esso – resulting in all blue and red cars & Eminence (underwear) – red writing on white cars. The Prodrive cars were always in Rothmans colours.

For tyres we have a nice mix: works cars on Dunlop, Almeras on Michelin, Prodrive on Pirelli.

REGISTRATIONS:

Well, what are works cars? The factory themselves rarely ran the cars themselves. If they did, they would display German reg plates. See our general registration guide. Now the next trick: Porsche is in Stuttgart? Indeed, early orange works Porsche had Stuttgart plates, starting with an S before the dash. Later we also see cars with a BB before the dash. "BB" stands for Böblingen, which is on the outskirts of Stuttgart and which is where Porsche REALLY is based! However even in San Remo 1981 Röhrl's "BB" registered Porsche was run by Frères Almeras. Almeras' home is Montpellier and therefore many rally Porsche are graced with French reg plates ending on 34. Again see our general registration guide. Between 1984 and 1986 we also saw Prodrive run works Porsches. These cars were UK registered you might have guessed. They were, but interestingly not in the name of Prodrive but in that of Porsche's UK importer, who is based in Reading. Therefore the combination of 2nd & 3rd letter on these cars would carry Reading identity, which are: AN, BL, CF, DP, GM, JB, JH, JM, MO, RD, RX & TF.

Porsche Rally Cars

Model Class
Porsche Porsche 718 Cayman  Class RGT
Porsche Porsche 911  Group 3
Porsche Porsche 911  Group 4
Porsche Porsche 911  Group 3
Porsche Porsche 911  Group B
Porsche Porsche 911  Class RGT
Porsche Porsche 924  Group 4

Rally Honour Roll

Year Class Place Manufacturer Events
2015 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 10th. Porsche (2pts) 10

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

2014 IRC Super 2000 / WRC 1.6T 9th. Porsche (10pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1985 WRC Group B 9th. Porsche (24pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1982 WRC Open 7th. Porsche (28pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1980 WRC Open 66th. Porsche (10pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1979 WRC Open 10th. Porsche (32pts) 12

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1978 WRC Open 4th. Porsche (79pts) 11

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1977 WRC Open 7th. Porsche (35pts) 11

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1976 WRC Open 11th. Porsche (14pts) 10

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1975 WRC Open 13th. Porsche (12pts) 10

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1974 WRC Open 7th. Porsche (27pts) 8

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar

1973 WRC Open 9th. Porsche (27pts) 13

Season Summary | Season Points | Events Calendar